Just like fruits, being scared has seemingly become a seasonal thing too. It is as if that only at this time of the year that ghosts and aswangs do come out. For the rest of the time perhaps they would just be off-duty and hibernating. Some people think they are cool (but stupid, actually) in scaring themselves by watching or reading horror stories and consequently make themselves believe that zombies are indeed real. Welcome to that season we call Undas, Kalag-kalag or Halloween.

The tradition dates back from several centuries even before Christianity. Ergo, we must not be threatened that others prefer to be horrible-looking rather than to appear as cute saints in celebration of Halloween. On the other hand, I wonder how those who introduced this kind of festival would react with our own kind of Halloween. It was the Celtic people (Ireland, United Kingdom and part of France) who started Halloween. For them, Halloween is Samhain – a way of welcoming the new year since they would start their calendar by November 1. Celts people wore the horrifying costumes to scare, not people, but evil spirits. Further, this practice, as told, is ancient; a new way (and a new calendar) has already been introduced which is more meaningful and with spiritual bearing – the All Saints Day.

Saints are not scared, people. In fact, their very courageous disposition makes them who they really are- holy people or hallowed persons. St. Teresa of Avila has said it explicitly, “Let nothing frighten thee…” Hence, the more correct way to celebrate Halloween is actually to resound our human desire to become holy.

More than the scare-talk, it is rather more interesting to focus on fear. There is but an ocean of difference between being afraid and by simply being scared. The scare is of ghosts, monsters, darkness, and the like. Fear, however, is something from within. Talk about fear of being rejected, of being misunderstood, of being disrespected, of being taken for granted, of being bashed, of being betrayed, etc. Fear does not need a costume to frighten people. On the contrary, it must unmask each and every kind of pretension that cloud the real true self. In so doing, there is really nothing to fear except fear itself.

Where do we find fear or fearful people? Conspicuously, one can sense many forms of fears in social media, especially on Facebook. There are those kinds of people who are active but would not lift a finger to engage. There are also those who just browse and peek on the lives of others but are hesitant to “like”, to “heart” or to comment. The worse kinds are those who are rabidly engaging but are under the cover of a name other than their own. They are scariest as they are the most scared people at the same time. They do not have a costume, not any mask; neither do they get a name nor a face. They are not afraid of anything, but of what is the truth.

What is to fear now? “The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think.” That said, do not be scared of ghosts and of people; have fear instead of what is within. Happy Halloween and have a better one.


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